My previous knowledge of baseball had mainly come from one of my favourite books, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I’d highly recommend a read EVEN if you don’t particularly like baseball, because it’s about so much more than that!
Couple the book with the fact that Mr Cheerful and friends had told me about their experience last year, meant I had quiet high expectations of my first game.
Who did we see? The Chiba Lotte Marines (千葉ロッテマリーンズ), they are a professional baseball team in Japan’s Pacific League based in Chiba City, and are owned by the Lotte corporation.
Fun Fact: In 2010, the Marines clinched third place on the last day of the season to earn a berth into the Climax Series. They went on to become the first third place team to ever win the Climax Series, and faced off with the Chunichi Dragons in the 2010 Japan Series. The Marines defeated the Dragons in seven games, composed of four wins, two losses, and one tie, winning their second Japan Series in under ten years. Source, Wikipedia.
The majority of fans LOVE and I mean love Daichi Suzuki, he was cool BUT my favourite player was Alfredo Despaigne. My feelings towards him were probably amplified by the fact that his music was the BEST! Every time it was his turn to bat, we’d drunkenly dance away as if we were at carnival.
Here’s a close up of Despaigne himself!
Break time shenanigans involved a mix of cheerleaders and mascots.
Verdict: The atmosphere was so chilled, lots of families were around due to it being the holidays and everyone was in great spirits. The beer and snacks were flowing. Halfway through I forgot where we were because it was the opposite of any sporting event I’d been to before.
I expected loud, rude drunk people but I got happy and laid back. I highly recommend watching a game if you’re coming to Japan between April and I think October (for Chiba, not sure about other cities).
Price: 3,000 yen (approx £19 or $27.50 per person, for a seated ticket as of May 2016) // Chiba Lotte Marines official website: Here.
What has your experience been like at a sporting event? Share in the comments below!